Conversation with the gal who cut my hair

My conversation today with the gal who cut my hair went something like this:

Me: How are you today?

Her: It’s been rough. My dog died yesterday. It’s like losing a child!

Me: I’ve lost a child.

Her: You know what it’s like then! It’s like losing a child, isn’t it?!

I decided to let it go. It would not have done any good to try to explain that losing a dog is not even on the same planet as having a child die. I don’t understand how anyone can even equate the two.


© 2019 Rebecca R. Carney


This entry was posted in Death of a child, Grief and tagged , by Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective

My name is Becky Carney. My husband, Joe, and I have been married for 44 years. We have two living children, Eric (41) and Jenna (36). We lost a baby in utero at 19 weeks in 1987. In 2002, our middle son, Jason (19), and his best friend, Alina (20), were broadsided by a drunk driver who was going at least twice the speed limit. They both died instantly. This blog is written from my perspective as a bereaved parent. I don't claim to know what it's like to walk in anyone else's shoes. Each situation is different; each person is different. Everyone handles grief differently. But if I can create any degree of understanding of what it's like to be a parent who has lost a child, then I have succeeded in my reason for writing this blog.

7 thoughts on “Conversation with the gal who cut my hair

  1. Yep….NOT EVEN CLOSE!! Like we’ve been told numerous times on this grief journey is that people are going to say dumb things…..perfect example! Ugh!!

  2. Wow…Im.surprised you kept it together…😭some people have no comon sense….I never even try to explain the pain ….unexplainable.

  3. Grief is grief : don’t Measure or compare it, a blog post I wrote a couple of months ago. I was angry because all of the bereaved parents kept telling my friends death wasn’t as hard as my child. It was, but it’s different, because my love for them is different. I’ve lost my father, several friends, my aunt, others and several dogs. I loved them all. I miss them all and they all leave holes in my life that bring me sadness. It’s not a dumb thing for them to say, they just don’t have the experience of both losses, that of a pet and a child, like we do. It’s totally fine to educate them by stating that you’ve lost a child and a pet and that it’s much harder to go through your child’s death. And then continue with, is that your experience also? Hugs.

    • Hi, Roger. I’ve experienced the deaths of our son, both of my parents, my husband’s parents, friends, many relatives (grandparents, aunts and uncles, brother-in-law, grandnephew, etc.), had a miscarriage, had our fourth child die at 19 weeks gestation, lost several well-beloved pets (dogs, cats, bunnies). I have lost (not to death, but to desertion) more people I thought to be friends and loved and trusted than I care to recount. I have lost faith. I have lost hope. I have lost trust in relationships and friendship. I have lost my home and have not found a place to be “at home” since then. I miss and grieve for each person and pet and circumstance. Each loss has impacted my life to varying degrees. In my own personal experience – my experience, and mine alone – I can say that there has been no more devastating, crushing loss for me than that of our son Jason.

      I’ve had people expect that my experience with Jason’s death would give me particular understanding, insight and empathy as they 100% equate their child going away to college, loss of a job, death of a pet, and other types of loss to Jason’s death. I’ve had people try to make me feel that for some reason or other their loss is greater than mine.

      Each loss is unique to each individual. Yes, grief is grief. Even as I internally struggle with someone who equates the death of their dog to the death of our son, I am so very thankful that she has not experienced the death of a child. I don’t try to educate people or even try any more to explain how difficult Jason’s death was for me. Unless someone has experienced the death of a child, I have found that the overwhelming, life-changing, heart-wrenching grief cannot truly be understood. I would not wish that knowledge on anyone. And, so, I acknowledge their grief, hug them (if appropriate), and tell them I’m sorry for their loss. That’s about all I can do.

      Hugs to you, too.


      • (I hope no one took this harshly, as I did not mean it so by any means. All I was saying was that, in my own personal experience and of all the losses I have endured, Jason’s death looms largest and has affected me the most. I am speaking only from my perspective. Each of us looks at loss through the lens of our own experiences.)

  4. I have had the same conversation with someone about their dog and I just walked away…didn’t respond. Also at a Compassionate Friends public forum, the presenter, who hadn’t lost a child, said she couldn’t give 100% as her relationship had just broken up!! I didn’t attend anything again when she was the grief councillor. I did complain to the organisers. I was too “gobsmacked” to respond at the time. Stupid people!

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